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Changes in the Marketing Environment and its Implications The word “Marketing” refers to an activity that is strategically concerned with the management of relationship among an organization and environment. Environment could be described as an internal and external condition to an organization. Internal Environment consists of situational factors that are present within the organizational boundaries whereas external environment consists of any factors or conditions that are not under the control of an organization.
Internal Environment creates strengths or weaknesses for a firm, however external environment may create opportunities or threats.
Over the past some years, a significant change in external environment has been happened. In response to the change in external environment, companies have to change themselves and plan accordingly. Successful companies do not treat environment as a constraint, rather they view it as an opportunity. Some time the change in the environment becomes a competitive advantage for a firm who exploits the change at a right time.
Changes in the Marketing Environment: Since a last decade or two, significant changes in the marketing environment have been observed in the marketplace.
These significant changes could be categorized as, supply versus demand environment, rising expectations, innovation in technologies, globalization, increasing focus on service, fashionisation of markets, erosion of brands, micro markets, commoditization and other constraints. Previously, many companies do not bother to even think about customer needs and wants. They only concentrated on their production and specialization side.
However, over time marketing managers realized the fact that understanding customer needs, behaviors and wants are crucial for customer satisfaction which ensures the continuity of an organization in the market.
Now every other business is trying to achieve customer satisfaction, meet customer expectations and increase their customer average life. These things have forced the companies now to focus on demand side rather than supply side. Innovation in products and technologies is another source of change in the marketing environment.
As pointed out earlier, that companies are now more focused on customer needs and wants. This thing has induced companies to bring innovation in their product features and processes. Competition has increased disastrously, which is forcing the firms to squeeze their profit margins and bring more efficiency in their production and processes. In order to accomplish this, companies demands more efficient technologies. This is something that every company in a particular industry has to follow. In order to remain competitive, all the companies have to adapt the new technology.
Adapting the new technology or process means quitting the older ones, this brings change into the environment. In today’s world, the concept of Globalization is becoming more and more common. Globalization is progressing at a very fast speed. In fact, now many countries are supporting the phenomenon of free trade which is uplifting the globalization. Another factor that underlies the globalization trend is the dramatic developments in information processing and transportation technologies. Now many firms have global presence which pushes them to think about marketing and environment in a global context.
In this regard, an organization has not only to take care about domestic market environment, in fact international market environment as well. Companies are now shifting their focus more on service side which cannot be standardized. Uniqueness and complexity of a service determines the extent of relationship between a business and the customer. Service is more customized than product. This customized nature of service is one of the sources of changing marketing environment. Customers’ trends are changing rapidly. As a result their purchase intentions are also changing.
Behaviors of customers have significantly changed from the past. In 1970’s – 1990’s customers do not want to experience new things; rather they like to use same products and services. They were more rigid. However, today consumers want change, they want to experience new things, and much more flexible. These are some of the reasons of fashionisatin and erosion of brands. All these things are demanding more change in the marketing environment. Earlier, all businesses produce goods and then market them broadly to the general public without considering the needs of specific consumers in the market.
However, in the current situation companies are adopting more targeted approach. In this regard, they advertise and market their product primarily to their target market. Companies now are increasing their reliance on niche marketing and specialization which is also refers to micro market. This phenomenon of micro market is creating change in the marketing environment and possessing challenge to the marketer. Change in the marketing environment also comes from the product life cycle. As product moves from one stage to another, a change occurs.
In the earlier and middle stages of the product, companies try to differentiate their products which help them to charge premiums from the customers. However, in the later stages of the product, commoditization happens. Commoditization is a concept which reduces the differentiation. Reduction in the differentiation would results in the shrinkage of profit margins. Generally, companies do not want to commoditize and strives to prolong the middle stage of the product. The main point here is this that market environment would change with the change in the life cycle stage of product.
Usually, commoditization also poses challenge to the marketer. Expectations of consumers are increasing from the companies. In the past, consumers did not expect much from the companies but now their expectations have increased with the increase in production technologies and competition. They expect more in terms of product quality and service. In order to meet the changing expectation and increasing demands of the consumers, companies need to change in their culture also. Therefore, rising expectations of consumers are also posing a change in the marketing environment.
Apart from the above stated factors, companies also have to face number of other constraints as well which would create a change in the environment. These constraints could be related to economic, political or cultural constraints. Not always, but sometimes these constraints could bring a disastrous change in the marketing environment. Therefore, organizations have to be keep ready all the time to deal with any of the constraints. Changing Marketing Strategies: In this changing environment, companies have to be prepared for changing in their marketing strategies.
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